A room with a view of Beijing’s tallest skyscraper

Completed just in time for the 70th Anniversary of China’s National Day, October 1: the ritual vessel-inspired CITIC Tower. Photo: HG Esch, courtesy of KPF.

BEIJING — The 1731-foot-tall CITIC Tower — the capital city’s new tallest building and the world’s eighth tallest — opened just in time for China’s national celebrations this week. It is in the same neighborhood as the Rosewood Beijing, the hotel where I’m staying. I can see it from my room.

The super-tall skyscraper stands in start contract to the historic Beijing hutongs I visited earlier this week. “Not only is Beijing HUGE – and I’m talking enormous – but the city itself has a great mix of preserved ancient culture and super modern and contemporary architecture from some of the world’s most famous architects,” as one online travel magazine put it.

CITIC Tower’s design draws inspiration from the “zun,” a ritual vessel originating in Bronze Age China, according to the the architects behind the structure’s design, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

“In profile, the tower abstracts and refines the zun’s vase-like form, balancing composition and articulation with structural requirements and leasing depth needs,” the architectural firm added. “Broader at its base than its crown, the tower combines its iconography with infrastructure that supports the building’s integrity in China’s greatest seismic zone.”

A video of the skyscraper is here: CITIC (China Zun) Tower from Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF).

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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